All posts by Chris Klemm

Which “Jesus” do you worship? part 1

False idols of who Jesus is come in all shades and styles, but there’s nothing that’s created more false idols of
who Jesus is than man’s own heart.
Unfortunately, most people have created a “Jesus” of their own liking, fashioned in the recesses of their carnal minds
(or created by some religious leader that they’ve submitted their lives and entrusted their souls to) and that’s the “Jesus”
they serve and worship. Ironically, these false idols of “Jesus” bear a striking resemblance to those who created them
(and their desires), but very little–if any–resemblance to the Jesus of the Bible.

Since there are so many versions of “Jesus” circulating out there I’ve decided to create this easy to use (but non-exhaustive)
resource as a way to help you know which “Jesus” you worship based solely upon what you believe about Him.
If your Jesus . . .
. . . is the sibling of Satan; born from a sexual encounter between God the Father who was once a man (Adam to be exact) and God’s own daughter Mary; who was crucified because he practiced polygamy; who did not pay for the sins of the world on the cross but in the Garden of Gethsemane, whose sacrifice was insufficient since you still have to work your way to heaven and in some cases your own blood must be spilled to redeem yourself; and who could not maintain his church but had to commission a lying,
swindling, occult-dabbling, womanizing, pedophiliac, adulterer, Freemason, con-artist who was known for telling tall tales
(whose own account of the first vision changed several times), to “translate” an ancient and “inspired” book that needed almost 4,000 corrections, changes, and alterations since it’s first publication, and to “restore” the church that your Jesus couldn’t keep
together  . . .

. . . then you worship the Mormon Jesus.

“BE LIKE THE BEREANS”

With this Scripture in mind, 1Corithians 5:12: “For what have I to do to judge them also those are outside?
Do not you judge them that are within?”
I’m asking the following questions of CHRISTIANS, not non-believers. They are for CHRISTIANS to reflect on their personal belief system, what the Word of God means to them. It saddens me is to see so many “christians’ changing their Face book profile images to blaze with the colours of the rainbow, and promoting the “Marriage Equality for Australians”. They obviously see no
contradiction between the tenants of God’s Word and homosexuality. These questions are for those who consider themselves
Bible-believing Christians, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, these questions I hope you will consider while you are flying the flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be merely
rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause you to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.
So let’s see how you would answer them! How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?
What Bible verses led you to change your mind? How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity
between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated? What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church? Do you think Jesus would have been okay with
homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship? If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman? As you think about the long history of the church and the near universal disapproval of same-sex sexual activity, what do you think you understand about the Bible that the Fathers of the faith failed to grasp?
Should your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with homosexual practice be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution, or bullying? Will you speak up for your fellow Christians when their jobs, their
accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of their stand? What will you say yes to next?
I encourage you to diligently search the Scriptures yourself on this topic and look forward to your feedback…..

The manger or the Cross

The manger or the Cross

Whenever Christmas time rolls around, many people – get excited. People get excited at extravagant colourful lighting displays;
people get excited at exquisite tree decorations; people get excited about parties; people get excited about what kind of gift will be awaiting them under the tree on Christmas Day. Yet as soon as Christmas passes though, the excitement and goodwill evaporates faster than a snowball in the Simpson Desert. But, if you look into the Bible – I mean really look, and not just at one verse – there is a truly good reason to be excited for your own life when it comes to the birth of Jesus.  The Christmas story is about so much more, and it takes more than singing a few carols or a few moments at a church to fully appreciate what the Christ child means to us.
Christmas is a time for us to see and value Christ’s death and resurrection, not just His birth. His destiny was to…die a torturous death and rise from the dead three days later so we could have eternal life.
We need to paint a more complete picture than we’re used to of the Saviour who was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger: There is more than just set up the crèche and read Luke chapter two. To really see the Jesus of the manger we need to see the Jesus of Mark 4 who rules the storm, the Jesus of Matthew 27 hanging by nails on a Roman cross, and the resurrected Jesus of Revelation 5 reigning eternally victorious.
The Cross stands for all eternity as the final expression of God’s love. The sinless Son of God rejected of men and forsaken of God bearing your sins. This is the Jesus in whom you must trust to be saved. Yes, He is the child in the manger, but He is much, much more.
“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”
2 Corinthians 5:21.
And, we must all deal with the Cross. How will you deal with it?

Scriptural View on Tithing

The Bible does not teach that tithing is the recommended or required basis of giving for the New Testament Gentile believers. Tithing in the Old Testament was NEVER of money and the New Testament NEVER teaches that we as believers should tithe. To the contrary it clearly teaches that tithing is NOT required in the New Covenant. This is best verified by systematically going through the Various Covenants which God had with His people and addressing the sacrifices, first fruit offerings and tithing that occurred. Please grab your Bible and see for yourself the TRUTH of what God has said because seeing some of these verses in print and in context may astound you

  1. The Adamic Covenant (from the Fall to the Flood)
    Sacrifices
    Gen 3:15   God promised a seed who would crush the serpents head
    Gen 3:21   God sacrificed an animal to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness
    Gen 4:4     Abel offered a sacrifice of the fat portions of some of the firstborn of his flock …(this is clearly not a tithe).

It was accepted because it was the best of the firstborn of his flock which was later reserved for burnt offerings. It was also offered in faith and speaks prophetically of Christ’s sacrifice.  Cain’s sacrifice of ‘some of the fruits of the soil’ was rejected as a mediocre sacrifice of the work of his own hands demonstrating his lack of faith in what God would do for mankind. Some preachers even claim that the first instance of tithing occurred in the Garden of Eden….this is totally wrong. The ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ was not a tithe. It was one tree out of thousands….and neither was it the ‘first’ because the ‘tree of life’ was the first named tree! (Gen 2:9) It should be noted that there was no mention of tithing at all and there was NO priesthood to whom it could have been given.

  1. The Noahic Covenant
    (from the Flood to the call of Abram)
    Sacrifices 
    Gen 8:20  Noah built an altar and taking clean animals and birds sacrificed burnt offerings on it
    Gen 8:21-22  God was pleased and covenanted the blessing of    ‘seed time and harvest’
    Gen 9:8-17   God covenanted a promise of no future worldwide flood and provided the rainbow as a sign.

It should be noted that there was no tithing mentioned at all and there was no priesthood to whom it might have been given.

  1. The Abrahamic Covenant
    (from the call of Abram to the giving of the Law)
    Sacrifices
    Gen 13:4   Abram made an altar and offered a sacrifices on it
    Gen 22  God tested Abraham and he was prepared to obey God even to the extent of sacrificing his only son
    vs. 8  “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”
    This speaks prophetically of God providing his son Jesus Christ as our sacrifice  …a shadow fulfilled by Jesus on the cross

The Tithe (‘first mention’) Gen 14:11-24
Abram’s nephew Lot was carried off with his possessions along with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah Abram rescued Lot and the spoils and the other people …. and he was blessed by Melchizedek on his return Abram gave him a tenth of ‘everything’ (vs. 16 gives the context of ‘spoils’). This was NOT something God ever commanded him to do. Abram NEVER gave a tenth to anyone in the scriptures before this event. As Abram was on a war/rescue mission he did not have any of his own wealth with him. Hebrews 7:5 makes it clear that all he gave was a tenth of the PLUNDER. He therefore gave only of that which was not his own and returned the rest to the King of Sodom to give to Lot and those from whom it had been stolen! The Bible does not say that Abram/Abraham ever ‘tithed’ or ‘gave a tenth’ again  …or EVER gave any of his own wealth! Abram GAVE a tithe (i.e. freewill) … he did not ‘PAY’ a tithe as he would have if an obligation existed. Abram was rich long before he encountered Melchizedek (Gen 13:2)…..so ‘THE blessing’ could NOT possibly have been related to his tithing. The sign of the covenant was his CIRCUMCISION (Gen 17:10-14) and NOT his tithing! Abram had not yet believed and been ‘credited as righteous’ …  and his name was not yet changed to Abraham. (i.e. his actions were those of an ‘unrighteous’ man) The narrative of this event is descriptive and not prescriptive. It is NOT presented as a command nor is it suggested anywhere in the New Testament that it is an example of an action which we should follow (e.g.. we are told to follow the FAITH of Abraham…and not his works Rom 4:1-4). The tenth he gave is not as significant as the remainder he also gave back because Abram says … in vs. 22-23… “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours”       
(This proves that Abraham never took ownership of the plunder!) THIS EXAMPLE CANNOT LEGITIMATELY BE ARGUED TO CONSTITUTE A PRE-MOSAIC SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE OR TITHING AS IT IS TAUGHT IN THE CHURCH TODAY (except if we should have a magnificent victory in war and recover spoils from which we could freely give 10% to a king and a priest who blesses us…and then give the remainder back to those it was taken from)

Gen 28:20-22
Jacobs Vow…..
If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to YouJacob was saying…. ‘God you promised, so IF and WHEN you deliver and bless me first, then I will give!’… Have you ever wondered why this is NEVER preached as the basis for New Testament ‘tithing’? The fact that the Bible does not tell us that Isaac ever tithed together with the fact that Jacobs vow was clearly a voluntary and conditional vow indicates that there was certainly NO prevailing pre-law requirement to tithe! Jacob at this time was still a deceiver…He was only transformed in Gen 32 after wrestling with God It is not recorded that Jacob ever gave this tithe  (If you disagree with this please show me when, where and to whom the scripture says his tithe was given?)
THIS INCIDENT CANNOT LEGITIMATELY BE ARGUED TO SUPPORT A PRE-MOSAIC SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE AND IT IS NOT RECORDED THAT THIS WAS EVER DONE AGAIN BY ANYONE……NOR IS IT EVER SUGGESTED AS SOMETHING WE SHOULD PRACTICE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
All the way from Adam to the time of Moses bringing the Law to Israel there is NO scriptural record of anyone EVER having given a tithe of their possessions to any one! There is also not a single scripture even hinting that this might be a requirement prior to the Law! Let us get real….If God required people to tithe …before and after the Law ….then HE would have said so in HIS Word! 

4) The Mosaic Covenant
(from the giving of the Law to the death of Jesus)
Sacrifices  
Hebrews 10:8-14
Christ’s sacrifice of his life for us has once and for all set aside all sacrifices
Leviticus and Deuteronomy detail more than 20 types of sacrifices/offerings including the Firstfruits offerings that were to be offered through the year and at the annual feasts Firstfruits and the Firstborn are clearly NOT the same as the TITHE  (Exodus 23:16, Deut 26:1-11 and Neh 10:37 )

Tithes
Hebrews 7:5 ….  And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren

The requirement to ‘tithe’ is NOT because of a pre-mosaic spiritual principle …. it is part of the LAW! The tithes were only to be received from BRETHREN of the Levites Jesus confirms this in Mat 23:23…that tithing is one of the ‘Matters of the LAW! The LAW refers the Mosaic Law which was given by God to Moses at Mt Sinai and was recorded in the Books of the Law (TORAH) by which all Israelites (including Jesus) tried to live and still try to do today. It is in these books that the ‘tithe’ is first commanded.

Lev 27:30  And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s. It is holy to the LORD.

Lev 27:32  And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD.
The ONLY tithe which is designated as HOLY is that of produce of the land (specifically the promised land GIVEN to the Israelites by GOD) ….it was food produce and animals. It NEVER refers in the scriptures to money earned by people. The purpose of the above verses is to define the ‘what’ of tithing,    –   ie that which must be tithed.    All other scriptures regarding tithing under the Law confirm the same extent of what is to be tithed! NONE scriptures ever extend the scope of tithing to income. The argument that money was not the common means of exchange because in those days it was ‘a barter or agrarian society’ is patently wrong. Even 430 years before the Law, Abraham had silver and bought land for 400 shekels…..Exodus 30:13-16 talks of the half-shekel temple tax that everyone had to pay…..and Deut 14 talks of the right to change your tithe to silver….and buying things with it to eat and drink.

Lev 27:34     These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.

The people addressed in the above passages from Leviticus 27 are emphatically defined in vs. 1 and vs. 34 as being for the Israelites only. These verses defined ‘who’ it was that was that the command to give tithes related to. (Heb 7:5)

Num 18:21  ‘I give to the Levites all the tithes as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving….23 it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

This scripture defines the reason ‘why’ tithing was required to be given to Levites. It is NOT because they were ‘fulltime’ workers (the typical Levite’s roster was 1 week out of 24 ONLY – 1Chron 24-26). It was primarily because they forfeited their share of the Land as an inheritance. God wanted them not to be attached to ‘worldly inheritances’…. Mat 19:29

Num 18:23-24 ‘…“Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting. 22 Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die. 23 But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 24 For the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer up as a heave offering to the LORD, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance; therefore I have said to them, ‘Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.'” 

This passage defines ‘who’ was to receive the tithes. No-one else (other than the poor) is ever authorized to receive any tithes in the scriptures . (giving it to a preacher or a ‘local church’ would constitute a SIN according to the Law)   This passage of scripture is addressed to the priests (vs. 20) and the intent is to explain how they were to be supported. It is NOT a command to the people on ‘when’ or ‘how’ tithes were to be given…that is only ever detailed in Deut 14 & 26 The tribe of Levi were required to forfeit their inheritance in the land to the rest of Israel and therefore needed to receive the food grown on it. This supply was secured under an everlasting statute/covenant with God (Numbers 18:23, Mal 2:4-9) The requirement to have ‘no inheritance in the land’ is casually overlooked by most ‘clergy’ who claim to be entitled to receive or partake of tithes today! …as is the fact that no gentile believers were ever given a share in the ‘land’ of Israel As detailed in Deut 14 and 26 it was only in the third year that ALL the tithe was given to Levites. (& widows & orphans)
(In the Bible the meaning of the word ALL is commonly required to be interpreted in line with its context and other Scriptures as to its scope. i.e. ALL does not necessarily mean all of the types of tithes, from all of the people and all of the time) The tithe equated to 10% divided by 3 (i.e. every third year)…. BUT it was also shared with the ‘poor’  = 3.34% average per year Levi had 22,000 people over 1 month old out of 603,000 Israelites over 20 years old = approx.  2.2% of Israel’s population (Num 1:32 and Num 3:39)  This % is confirmed as being correct because the Levites and priests share of the spoils was set by God as  2.2% of the total   (refer Numbers 31:28 & 30)
Today as New Testament believers WE ARE ALL PRIESTS   (1 Pet 2:5 and 2:9 and Rev 1:6, 5:10 and 20:6)

Deut 12 :5-12   ‘….  There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 7 And there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which the LORD your God has blessed you.

God commands the people to EAT of their tithes…this is repeated many times so that we do not mistake HIS command (i.e. in  vs. 11-12, 15 and 18 also) PLEASE NOTE  Neither the word ‘festival’ or ‘poor’ are EVER found to describe the tithes of Deuteronomy in the Hebrew text. These words are illegitimate insertions intended to deceive people and to justify claims of multiple tithes being required. The Law forbids adding or subtracting even a jot or tittle Deut 4:1-2 and Mat 5:18-19. Deceivers be warned.

Deut 14:22    “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year.
(tithes were NOT the first 10% nor were they given weekly …they were set aside over the year and only given once) The tithe always specifically referred to produce of the fields only  (NEVER the wages of people) This is the ONLY place where the people of Israel are commanded in the Law ‘how and when’ to tithe…. and ‘what’ is to be done with the tithe. There is NO scripture EVER given that suggests that tithes were required from Israelites who had other occupations other than land-owner farmers e.g. labourers, skilled craftsmen, weavers, designers, or carpenters (or being Jews – merchants, bankers, and lawyers or doctors) under the LAW . All the highly regarded rabbis of the past and present concur on this matter.

Deut 14:23   And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.

Eating the tithes is a COMMAND…you SHALL eat!    This was to celebrate religious feasts as a spiritual family and a community holiday (i.e. Passover, Feast of Weeks and Tabernacles)….. and to rejoice in the blessing, provision and awesome love of God for His people. In teachings about tithing one is never told that GOD commanded the Israelites to EAT the tithe together with their family…Have you?…How can this possibly be missed by so many supposedly knowledgeable Bible teachers? Note  that in verse 24-26 Israelites are told that (if they are to far away from Jerusalem) they can convert their tithe to money but that they are then buy ‘sheep, cattle, wine or strong drink’ and ‘to eat and rejoice in the presence of the Lord your God’. Yes this is in your bible…..God COMMANDS the people to eat your tithe in a party at Jerusalem to celebrate His blessing on their life and His goodness towards them (if they are Israelites). These scriptures are where GOD defines ‘what must be done’ with the tithe…and ‘when’ it must be done by the Israelites These scriptures blow the storehouse money tithing heresy as taught by most churches today right out of the water…which is why they are NEVER preached on today! The giver is to EAT their tithe in celebration before God to thanks Him for his blessings The givers are only to give the tithe to the Levites and the poor every THIRD Year…the year of the tithe!

Deut 14:27-29  ……At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates. 29 And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.  

Only on the THIRD YEAR was the tithe brought to the store in the city (i.e. the Levites being 2.2% of Israel’s population were obviously not intended to get 10% of the nations food every year)   The poor and the weak were to free to share in the tithe….they did not to have to give tithes! Deut 26-1-11   …(vs2) take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil …and put them in a basket….(vs11)           and you and the Levites, and aliens shall rejoice in all the good things (i.e. EAT) that the Lord your God has given you Firstfruits are clearly not tithes …i.e. a basket which contains some of the firstfruits (this can be verified in most bible dictionaries) …and they were also to be EATEN by the giver and shared with the Levites in a celebration!

Deut 26:12  When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third yearTHE YEAR OF THE TITHE  you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied
(This was done by bringing it to the STORE in the towns ..ie within the gates…for them to be supplied from as detailed in Deut 14:28-29) Unlike Firstfruits that were the first part of the produce, Tithes were not the first as they were laid aside through the year The third year was called THE YEAR OF THE TITHE for a reason i.e. in that year ONLY was ALL the tithe given to the Levites (as per Num 18:21…and even then it was still to be shared with the poor because it would have been more than they needed proportionately). In the other years God COMMANDED that it was to be eaten by the giver and his family at the feasts
Deut 14:22-27 ALL the tithe of the third year was given to the Levites. There is NO second tithe after the Levites were first given the third year tithe ..but ALL THE (singular) TITHE. This scriptural passage single handily proves that there was to be NO separate ‘first tithe’ or ‘Levites tithe’ as some claim because the third year tithe was the Levites tithe of Numbers 18:21-23.

Deut 26:13  then say to the Lord ‘I have removed from my house the Sacred Portion and have given it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow as you have commanded me’ 

The command to give the tithe to the Levites (in Numbers 18, Heb 7:5) applied to the third years produce only. This is NOT a ‘poor tithe’ as some choose to misleadingly call it ….it is THE LEVITES tithe This ties up with Mal 3:8 as to having robbed God by not obeying this command…ie GOD had given the tithe to the Levites….they were to give 10% of the Sacred Portion as the Lords Offering (Num 18:26) to the Priests at the temple….. therefore by not giving the tithe of the tithe in the THIRD YEAR God ended up being robbed because the LORD’s offering was then not given! Again it is confirmed that the ‘poor’ were to partake of the tithe….not to give it! Deut 26:14    I have not eaten any of it ………. I have obeyed the voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that You have commanded me.
This verse again confirms that the ONLY tithe God commands to be given away is a SINGLE tithe given every Third Year. ….this constituted ‘obeying the voice of the Lord’…. and doing  “ALL” that God commanded. As this was ALL that was required, there can be no separate and additional requirement of a ‘Levites tithe’. This is said in 3 different ways so that the Israelites could emphatically KNOW that there was no requirement for an additional tithe as was later taught by greedy Rabbis ….and is still taught by many today!

Deut 26:15   ‘Look down from heaven, your holy dwelling place, and bless your people and the land you have given us…..a land flowing with milk and honey’ This aligns with Mal 3:12    ‘open the windows of heaven and pouring out a blessing’ …..and Deut 28:1-2

Amos 4:4  bring your sacrifices every morning and your tithes every THREE years’
(it is noted that the context of this passage is a rebuke to Israel in regard to pride in their religious zealousness…..and could be referring to bringing tithes ‘every three days’ …in lieu of every three year as required by the Law) Note that in the seventh year the Israelites did not grow crops because it was a Sabbath year for the land….and therefore they could not tithe on them …..but because of the blessing of God on their crops in the sixth year they still had an abundance to celebrate at the festivals with. (Leviticus 25 :20-22). There is no scripture which states that they would not have tithed on the natural increase in their herds and flocks at the festivals The above passages clearly indicate the seven year cycle….with tithes given to Levites in years 3 and 6….and tithes eaten by the giver in years 1, 2 and 4, 5…..and no tithes of crops in year 7. No other logically consistent and equitable interpretation exists. FURTHER REFERENCES TO TITHING IN 2 CHRONICLES AND NEHEMIAH ARE NOT ADDRESSSED IN DETAIL AS THESE WERE  PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF THE LAW AND THEY DO NOT IN ANYWAY CHANGE  (even a ‘jot or a tittle’ of ) THE LAW AS GIVEN ABOVE in Deuteronomy (ref Deut 4:1-2) Some claim that Nehemiah 10:37-38 supports the interpretation that there MUST have been an additional tithe in the Law. However reading these verses in the context of the LAW as shown in the Scriptures above shows that what Nehemiah records here only refers to the Levites tithe of the THIRD year and NOT the tithe which happened on intermediate years as detailed in Deut 14:22-27….ie it only speaks of the third year tithe of Deut 14:28-29 and Deut 26:12-14! Neh 10:38    ‘a priest…is to accompany the Levites WHEN they receive the tithes … (WHEN is the TIMING which relates this event to the THIRD YEAR or the LEVITES tithe of Deut 14:28-29 and Deut 26-12-14) Neh 10:38 ….and the Levites are to bring a tenth of the tithes …. to the store rooms … (the only tithe brought to the store rooms for the Aaronic Priests was the 10% of the Levites tithe of the THIRD YEAR …the tithe in other years was EATEN by the giver and his family) The second part of this passage links to Numbers 18:26-29….the Levites tithe of which they were required to give 10% OF THE BEST to the Aaronic priests as the LORD’s  … (vs. 29…compare the this to the sin of the Levites which angered God in Malachi 1:6-8)

In this context now look at the most popular ‘tithing’ scripture which you will see is ALWAYS used out of context in churches today Malachi 3:8-12
This scripture, because of its frequent out of context use, can best be described as ‘a sledge-hammer to cause fear, guilt, condemnation and confusion’ when wrongly preached at Christians as it always is today. Malachi was an OLD TESTAMENT prophet. Prophets pointed Israel back to THE LAW (read Mal 1 and 2 and you will see it is addressed primarily to the Levites and priests) God did not use prophets to re-write the Law! It was the Levites tithe of the tithe that was to be brought to the temple for the Priests (Numbers 18:26, Nehemiah 10:36-38). The people’s tithe was either eaten or stored at the gates of their cities for the Levites every third year.
We cannot be cursed today as born again believers for disobeying the LAW of Moses (which never applied to Gentiles …and a Law which today cannot even be properly observed Jewish believers as there is no temple or Levitical priesthood)
Gal 3:13   Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us as it is written ‘Cursed is anyone who is hung on a tree’ 
As New Testament believers we receive blessing by faith in the completed work of Christ and not by doing the works of the Law (Eph 1:3 and Gal 3:1-14…..a must read) I say ‘out of context’ use as Scripture must be used to interpret scripture and ‘in the mouth of two witnesses or three let every word be CONFIRMED’ …….. Doctrines should not be based on one scripture only (e.g. using Malachi 3:8-12 contrary to the LAW as detailed in Leviticus 27 and Numbers 18 and Deuteronomy 14 and 26). That the book of Malachi is primarily addressed to the priests and Levites is confirmed in Mal 1:5 and Israel only in Mal 1:1 and 4:4
Please note that this passage ACTUALLY commences  at verse 6…. (something preachers today avoid reading)
Mal 3:6……O descendants of JACOB
this alone proves that the scripture is NOT one referring to us as GENTILE believers today!

This whole passage applies only to Israelites UNDER THE LAW …and when Jacob is referred to rather than Israel it is referring to UNREGENERATED Jews! Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? You ask how have we robbed you? ….. i.e. God had set out the law in Deut 14 and 26 which they were not obeying by not giving the Sacred Portion, i.e. the third years tithe, to the Levites who would then bring 10% of this as the Lord’s offering to the temple for the priests (Numbers 18:26) Mal 3:9  You are under a curse…. i.e. Deut 28:1-14 were the blessings for obedience but Deut 28:15-68 were the curses Israel put themselves under by disobedience …”THIS whole nation of you”…it is only addressed to ISRAEL…and Mal 4:4 confirms this! We as new covenant believers are not under the Law today ….. even the Jews…see Romans 7:6 ‘We have been released from the Law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit not under the old ways of the written code’
Mal 3:10  ‘Bring ALL the tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house’  (as per Deut 14 and 26 this clearly means the whole of the Lords offering which was 10% of the THIRD YEARS TITHE which the LEVITES brought to Jerusalem for the priests) The ‘storehouse’ referred to here is the food store in the temple in Jerusalem for the priests and the poor… and it was never the local synagogue. The two rooms could never hold more than a fraction of all of Israel’s tithes. NOR was it the ‘treasury’ which was a place to store money. This again shows that the tithe was NOT one of MONEY but FOOD!
Mal 3:12 Then all the nations will call you blessed….ie as per the promises of Deut 28:1-14
TITHING WAS GODS WAY UNDER THE LAW THAT THE LEVITES/PRIESTS WOULD GET THEIR SHARE OF FOOD AND THAT THE POOR OF THE NATION of ISRAEL WOULD ALSO BE FED ….from the Promised Land which God provided for them!
AND THAT PEOPLE WOULD CELEBRATE HIS BLESSING ONTHEIR CROPS AT THE RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS 5) NEW COVENANT/TESTAMENT FOR GENTILE BELIEVERS  —–
WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW
For those who believe Gentile believers are required to keep the Law of Moses …
Hebrews 7:5     ‘Now the LAW requires the descendants of Levi…..to collect a tenth from the people…..their brothers’  
Note that it was NOT a ‘pre-law spiritual principle’…but the LAW which requires tithing.  Jesus himself confirms that tithing is one of the ‘matters of the LAW’ (Mat 23:23)
Romans 3:19    ‘Now we know that whatever the law says it says to those who are under the LAW ‘  Oh that this would be taught today!
Romans 7:6   ‘We have been released from the LAW so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit not under the old ways of the written code’ 

The total clincher which confirms that tithing is NOT required today under the New Covenant is the following passage ……
Acts 15:5 …the Pharisees stood up and said ‘The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the Law of Moses’
Acts 15:28   But the apostles, elders and Holy Spirit said….. ‘It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following  requirements:  that you abstain from food sacrificed to idols,  from blood, from meat strangled and from sexual immorality’  
TITHING WAS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR GENTILE BELIEVERS! Those who teach tithing as a requirement are TESTING GOD by illegally placing a burden on His children! (Acts 15:10)
Acts 20:17-28       From Miletus he (Paul) sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, ……..    20 how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, ……..  27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

It is almost universally acknowledged by theologians that Paul and the apostles did not teach tithing in the book of Acts or the epistles. Paul in the above scripture is saying that the things he did not teach are not helpful to us (in the spiritual realm)….and they are NOT part of the ‘whole counsel of God’…or he would have taught it! This confirms that ‘tithing’ as taught today is a TRADITION OF MEN…and not a requirement from God…..and that it is NOT helpful in any way to believers! As Jesus says…the traditions of men make the commandment of God…ie to LOVE one another and give to the poor …of none effect!

Well what about Mat 23:23?…. some ask.
Briefly Jesus was speaking to Jews ….. who were under the Law  …. and tithed food i.e. herbs as required (and NOT money)

Well what about Hebrews and Melchizedek? …. is often the next question.
Briefly Melchizedek was NOT Jesus….Jesus is ANOTHER priest ….after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 7 is teaching about the greatness  of the new high priest…and merely uses the tithing to show which priesthood is greater.

This explains why Paul and the other apostles never taught that tithing was required to the gentile churches who would not even have known of such a practice.   THEY WERE INSTEAD TAUGHT TO GIVE WITH A GENEROUS HEART, MOTIVATED BY LOVE AND AS LED BY THE SPIRIT.

HISTORY of TITHING IN THE CHURCH It is important to note that the vast majority of Christians in the world today either are not part of churches that preach “tithing” as a requirement or they do not practice tithing even it their churches preach it. Even the statistics record that less than 1 in 6 Christians in churches which preach tithing actually practice it. This would indicate that most believers have serious Scriptural concerns about tithing being applicable today despite many years of being told by preachers that it is required. As far as I can identify tithing did not become a practice in any part of the church in history until almost 800AD. This would mean that Tithing was certainly not part of the Apostolic Doctrine nor was it practiced by the early church (which would explain why it was not taught to the Gentile Church in the bible) (According to preaching that we have all probably heard we would therefore have to conclude that they have all robbed God and, at the worst, would be on their way to Hell as that is the destiny of all thieves, or at the best, would never have experienced the blessing of God as they were disobedient…..Clearly this is baloney!) The early Jewish church at one time did ‘have all things in common’ when there was a great need (Acts 2:44-45) but this was never practiced by the Gentile Church, and is rarely practiced today. This is NOT taught as a requirement by the apostles or even as a suggestion ….and it is certainly not practiced by the vast majority of preachers in the world today.
Note There are claims that multiple tithes applied in the Old Testament but under the LAW only one tithe was ever required. Numerically the notion of ‘multiple tithes’ can be easily proven to be grossly inequitable which was clearly NOT God’s intent. (Deut 18:8 equal portions to eat for all). The Bible knows nothing of a ‘Levites tithe’….or a ‘Festival tithe’….or a ‘Poor tithe’.
(Do a search yourself). It teaches only ‘the Tithe’ or ‘a Tithe’.
The whole teaching is no more than a fabrication of greedy rabbis (Mat 23:4)  While the king and civil authorities may also have collected taxes at times (much as is done today) … this had no relevance to the LAW of God as set out in the OLD TESTAMENT.

GENUINE EASTER MESSAGE

We are coming to that time of the year, Easter.  For most people it is just an extra long weekend; a feast of chocolate, for some it’s one of a couple of times they see the inside a church; others it is an important date on the calendar. Some time ago I read on a sign outside of a local church, “Christians celebrate Easter every Sunday” they had it right.  Every time a believer participates in the Lord’s Table we remember and proclaim the Lord’s death and resurrection until He returns; one doesn’t have to wait to a certain time of the year. We will read Church leaders Easter messages in the media, while some of the messages do have truisms in them and some do mention Jesus, but the majority of these messages are gobbledegook and have nothing to do with the true Gospel; so the question remains:
What is the reason for Him to come?
It is all about Jesus Christs’ death on our behalf; for our sins and His burial and resurrection? The message of belief in Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death on our behalf which that alone can put people into the only ‘family’ that matters in eternity – the family of God.
Are we ashamed of the Gospel? Do church leaders know what the Gospel is? If there is only one Gospel that saves, then why do we hear the gospels of politics, socialism, works and other earthly temporal human concerns? Where are the eternal issues of life or death? Why are we not calling on people to believe in Jesus and His atoning work on the cross alone?
Strong words are deserved for such a reckless betrayal of a minister’s calling to preach the Gospel! Jesus did not come to earth and die a horrible death for our felt needs or for our political, social or psychological agendas! He came to redeem people from sin. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died as a substitute for mankind so that we can be forgiven and given a perfect righteousness not of our own, to enter a perfect righteous Heaven. This is not by works or anything of ourselves – not anything political or social. It is God’s work alone through Christ alone. Where you spend eternity depends on what you believe!
Join us on Sunday mornings; don’t wait for Easter Sunday….
you may not make it!

Questions to ask regarding “Palestine”

Ed. Note: This is part one of a two-part article originally titled “Eighteen Questions to Ask the Next Secretary of State. The author, Dr. William Welty, is the Executive Director of the ISV foundation and also serves as Research Analyst in Advanced Communication Technologies and Adjunct Professor of Middle Eastern Studies on the faculty of Koinonia Institute. The opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Koinonia Institute.

Ever since President Jimmy Carter left the White House, the conservative, evangelical Christian community in the United States has experienced one frustration after another about the so-called Two State Solution being proposed as a misguided means to solve the Israeli-Arab conflict in the Middle East. “The Palestinians need their own home!” say the pro-Palestinian factions, who also just happen to be virulently anti-Zionist (read that “anti-Israel”, or more accurately, “anti-Semitic”) in their true nature.

All of the discussions about a so-called “Two State Solution” for the “Palestinian Problem”—all of them!—are founded on a single presuppositional error. That error concerns the very definition of the term “Palestinian” with respect to the people and the term “Palestine” with respect to the land. So let’s try to shed some light on both of these terms by asking some fundamental questions that could have been asked and should have been answered decades ago by just about any entry-level Department of State bureaucrat who fancied himself on a career track to diplomatic stardom. The way America’s foreign policy has degraded since President Carter left office makes me wonder if anybody has ever bothered to ask the questions that we’ve posited below.

For example, if the term for the people called “Palestinians,” and if the term being used to describe the piece of real estate now being called “Palestine”, have any existential validity on any level of discussion at all, then…

  1. When Was Palestine Founded?

By way of contrast, anybody who has completed even just an entry-level education in all things related to the Middle East knows that Israel came into existence on 14 May 1948. Muslims throughout the area celebrated this happy event by invading the nascent country in a heartbeat. But God intervened and Israel’s defence forces beat the tar out of the invaders. But can anyone name the date on the calendar on which Palestine came into existence? America has its July 4, 1776. Israel has its May 14, 1948. Nobody can point to a specific date when Palestine was founded. That’s because it never was.

  1. By Whom Was Palestine Founded?

America has its Founding Fathers. So does Israel in its modern status. But can anyone tell us who the founding fathers of Palestine were?

  1. What Were Ancient Palestine’s Borders?

Some modern states come into existence as a result of military alliances or treaties following international conflicts. America’s northern border was largely determined by a parallel of latitude a couple hundred years ago. Its southern border largely follows the Rio Grande for part of its length. North and South Korea are separated at a specific parallel of latitude, as will be Israel’s territorial borders during the future Millennial Reign of Christ. (You can read about the future borders of Israel in chapters 40–47 of the book of Ezekiel in the Bible.) But can you name the borders of Palestine? The most common answer you’ll hear is the duplicitous response, “Palestine consists of the territories illegally occupied by Israel.”

  1. Where was the Capital of Palestine?

The anti-Semitic press has reported for years that the Arabs claim Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Trouble is, no Arabs living there before Israel got control of the city after the six-day war in 1967 ever bothered to make that claim. Now Jerusalem is claimed as the Palestinian capital as a means to create a bargaining position to solicit concessions from the Israeli and American governments.

  1. What Are Palestine’s Major Cities?

Name a single major city of Palestine…just one! I can name several Israeli major cities. Like Tel Aviv and the port at Haifa. Caesarea and Tiberius come to mind, too. But I challenge you to name even two major Palestine cities.

  1. Upon What Was Palestine’s Economy Based?

Israel’s economy is broad-based. For one thing, it’s the bread basket of the Middle East. Its technology sector is second only to Silicon Valley for being state-of-the-art. In fact, as a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment of this rivalry, Israel’s technology sectors are concentrated in an area of Israel its residents have labeled “Silicon Wadi,” a sly reference to the seasonal rivers or brooks that are scattered throughout the land. But on what industry (other than fomenting rebellion and murder) is Palestine based?

  1. What Is Palestine’s Form of Government?

Does Palestine have a constitution such as America has? Or even a set of Common Laws such as characterized England of years past? Other than imitating western-style governments by creating the appearance of democracy while incubating graft and corruption to make these crimes involve from petty larceny into an elegant art form, I defy to you write me a cogent description of Palestinian governmental authority other than that the guy with the most guns and suicide vests wins the election debate.

  1. Antecedent to Yasser Arafat, Can You Name Even One Palestinian Leader?

The closest you can come to naming even a post-Arafat Palestinian leader is to name the mayor of a “Palestinian”-controlled enclave within Israel, if you don’t count that sham of a Parliament that passes for Muslim-style democracy in “Palestinian”-controlled areas of Israel.

  1. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?

Israel’s is Judaism, in its multi-faceted complexity. But the rest of “Palestine” is an uneasy symbiotic relationship between Catholic traditions, Eastern and Greek Orthodox traditions, with not a few Christian groups, along with various sects of Islam.

Ed. Note: This is part two of a two part article originally titled, “Eighteen Questions to Ask the Next Secretary of State.” The author Dr. William Welty is the Executive Director of the ISV foundation and also serves as research analyst in Advanced Communication Technologies and Adjunct Professor of Middle Eastern Studies on the faculty of Koinonia Institute. The opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute.

  1. Was Palestine ever recognized by any country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?

The short answer is “No.” Okay, we’ll acknowledge the Vatican endorsed “Palestine,” and The New York Times claimed it had done so in late June 2015 to serve as “a development the church hopes will lead to improved relations between Israel and the Palestinians.” One can view the Vatican’s motives with deep suspicion, given its provably anti-Semitic behaviour over the centuries and its history of anti-Zionist policies and actions since the early days of the Zionist movement in general and the formation of Israel in 1948 in particular. On 30 October 2014, The New York Times noted Sweden had recognized Palestine, an action which drew harsh criticism from Israel because Sweden’s actions could be interpreted as a green light for more anti-Israel activity by the U.N. and by other members of the EU.

  1. What was the language of Palestine?

Modern Israelis speak Hebrew, the language of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with a few modern refinements helped along by Eliezer ben Yehuda a 19th century rabbi who singlehandedly was responsible for the resurrection of biblical Hebrew from the academic graveyard of forgotten scholarship into its modern status as a living language. The language of Palestine? There isn’t a native language. Non-Israelis speak Hebrew, English, Arabic, and sometimes a little French thrown in to confuse things a bit. The Arabic dialects used to be distinctively Egyptian and/or Jordanian, but today the language reflects the syncretistic nature of the diverse cultures that have invaded Israel since 1948.

  1. What is the name of Palestine’s currency?

This one’s really a trick question. That’s because there isn’t one. Never has been. (Ed. The currency generally used in both Israel and Palestine is the New Israeli Shekel.)

  1. Pick any date in history, what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the U.S. dollar, the European euro, the British pound, the Japanese yen, the Chinese yuan?
    This is a trick question, too. Since “Palestine” has no currency today, and never has had a currency, there has never been an exchange rate against which to compare the relative values of the currencies.
  2. Since there is no country of “Palestine” today, when did its demise occur?

The closest one can get to crafting an answer to this question is to assume the term “Palestine” was defined from the ancient Romans, who invaded and destroyed Israel in 70 A.D., renamed the area Palestinia, and renamed Jerusalem as Aeolia Capitolina. But then again, the only thing left in the land by that time was destruction.

  1. Since there is no country of “Palestine” today, what caused its demise?

Palestine never had a cause for its demise because it never got started as a country. The closest one can get to defining the cause of its demise, as noted above, is the destruction of the land in 70 A.D. by the Romans.

  1. If “Palestinians” are only generic Arabs collected from all over — or thrown out of — the Arab world, and
  2. If “Palestinians” really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them the right for self-determination, then …
  3. Why did the “Palestinians” never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the 1967 Six-Day War?

These final three questions have a single basic root answer common to each question. Jordan was created under the Hashemite kings following World War I, when a country full of Arab Muslims was created from the remains of the Ottoman Empire. Today, they are deemed not to be Palestinians, but Jordan is full of “Palestinians.” In the decades after the end of World War I, Jordan seized parts of Israel and annexed them. Today, this incontrovertible fact of history has to be denied because otherwise the mandate for a “Palestinian State” collapses. However, sometimes the truth slips out. For example:

  • Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has described Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs as “one people living in two states,” during a meeting with the head of the Jordan Football Association.
  • Bethlehem-based Maan News cited the Jordanian al-Ghad newspaper as saying Abbas arrived in Jordan from Doha, along with several other senior PA officials, including its intelligence chief Majid Faraj.
  • The Arabic-language Al-Quds (Ed. The Arabic name for Jerusalem) news outlet directly quoted Abbas, who “stressed that the relationship between Jordan and Palestine is the relationship of ‘one people living in two states.’”
  • Abbas added, “This relationship will not be affected by anything.”

Hamas Foreign Minister Fathi Hammad has been quoted as observing:

Personally, half my family is Egyptian. We are all like that. More than 30 families in the Gaza Strip are called Al-Masri [‘Egyptian’]. Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis. Who are the Palestinians? We have many families called Al-Masri, whose roots are Egyptian. Egyptian! They may be from Alexandria, from Cairo, from Dumietta, from the North, from Aswan, from Upper Egypt. We are Egyptians. We are Arabs. We are Muslims. We are a part of you.

Related Reading

 

“No More Spineless Christianity”

“No More Spineless Christianity”

This is not some “resolution” for the faint hearted but a challenge to all those who have people under their spiritual care. This article below is written by J. Lee Grady and he speaks about Christians needing to have some backbone, hence the title “No More Spineless Christianity” Yes it is written to American churches but we Aussies need to sit up and be discerning because there are many leaders watering the message down and that’s why I forwarded this article onto the local “ministers fraternal”.

“The apostle Paul not only confronted sin but named specific sins when he preached. Why can’t we?  People often complain about angry preachers. I don’t like them either, and I agree that if a person mixes a sermon with hateful language (or if he believes God has called him to picket other churches), he’s in the wrong profession.  Yet today we’ve jumped to the opposite extreme.
Now we are afraid to confront sin. We can’t preach about materialism because we might offend rich people in the audience—as well as the poor people who buy Lotto tickets every week. We can’t preach about fornication because there are people in the church who are living together. We can’t preach about domestic violence because there are deacons who sometimes hit their wives. We can’t preach about homosexuality because our culture says it’s hateful to call that a sin. And the list goes on.
In fact, some preachers are avoiding the word sin altogether because it’s too negative. And we all know that the latest polls show people want a positive message. This temptation to dilute the gospel has produced a new recipe for a trendy sermon. We start with some great motivational speaking (“Your past does not define your future!”), add a few quarts of cheap grace (“Don’t focus on your sin!”), pour in some prosperity gospel (“Run to this altar and grab your financial breakthrough!”), flavour it with some trendy pop psychology (“It’s all about you!”) and voila!—you end up with a glutinous mess of pabulum that not even a baby Christian could survive on….”  “I’ve often wondered how the apostle Paul would view our “positive” American gospel. Just before he was martyred, Paul gave his spiritual son Timothy clear instructions on how to keep his message on track. He said, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Tim. 4:2, NASB). We’ve rewritten Paul’s words today. Our rule is, “Preach what the people want to hear! Avoid controversy! Stroke, soothe and pacify the people so they will come back next week!” Is it any wonder that this low-protein spiritual diet has produced an anaemic church? Paul’s preaching in the first century was unquestionably confrontational. He didn’t hold back from addressing sin, nor was he afraid to call sin what it is.
Paul knew that a spineless Christianity would produce spineless Christians. He told Timothy that biblical preaching would require three brave verbs: Reprove. The Greek word here, elegcho, means “to convict, admonish or expose” or “to show one his fault.”
The word can also mean “to scold” or “to reprimand.” Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of a mother’s discipline knows that reproof can be the purest form of love. Rebuke. The word epitimao means “to admonish strongly” or “to charge strictly.” The English definition means “to express sharp, stern disapproval.”
And the origin of the word means “to beat or strike.” I’m not talking here about a preacher who beats people with the Bible. Screaming at people is not biblical rebuke. But when was the last time you felt the Holy Spirit strike you in your conscience during a sermon? Exhort. This is the gentlest of the three words. Parakaleo can be used to mean “to comfort” or “to call alongside.” It’s the same root word used to describe the Holy Spirit, who is our Comforter. True biblical preaching not only exposes sin and warns us of its consequences, but it calls us to reach out to God for help to overcome our weakness. When we challenge sin we must provide a means of grace for deliverance and healing.”    “Paul was also not afraid to name sins. I recently did a survey of all of Paul’s epistles to see how he addressed sexual immorality. I discovered that he confronted sexual sin head-on in 10 of his 13 epistles. He boldly called out adultery, fornication, sensuality and homosexuality in a culture that was saturated in hedonism. After exhorting the Thessalonians to practice abstinence, he rebuked them sternly by saying that anyone who opposes God’s laws about sex “is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you” (1 Thess. 4:8). Those are strong words. They need to be repeated in our pulpits today. Paul wasn’t trying to win any popularity contests, and his comments about sex would get him blacklisted today if he tried to buy airtime.
Yet when he penned those tough words, he was speaking from God’s heart—with love—under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to all of us. It’s time for us to grow a backbone. Let’s get rid of weak Christianity, spineless preachers and jellyfish morals.
Let’s preach the message of the Bible instead of a neutered version. Let’s not only point out sin but also point people to the only hope they have of overcoming it—our strong Saviour, whose death on the cross was the ultimate confrontation of sin.”

This article certainly has been challenging not just for myself, or our own fellowship but also for many others and our continued prayer is for those who have read or have requested the full article that the Holy Spirit will challenge and convict.
As custodians of God’s word we are required to preach (and teach and spread) the word, and reprove, rebuke, exhort (2Tim.4:2).
In this day of rampant and universal unbelief, the remnant of God’s people is commanded to ‘earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered’ (Jude 3). It is also the responsibility of faithful Christians to warn against the rapidly spreading apostasy.
Our plea is to bring the true unadulterated Gospel back!

I Think I’ll Give This Up for Lent

I was asked a few weeks ago if we follow Lent. For those not in the know, Lent is a 40 day period of fasting, restraint, and self-denial traditionally observed by Catholics and some Protestant denominations, leading up to Easter, where observers tend to give up something they like (such as a food, like meat or certain meals or a form of entertainment, like television) essentially as a form of “fasting” for the purposes of getting closer to God for penance. There are many Christians who hold to these 40 days as a time of study. While there is certainly nothing wrong with studying, or fasting, this should not be a time of boasting of one’s sacrifice or trying to earn God’s favour or increasing His love. God’s love for us could not be any greater than it already is. Repentance and deep self examination are beautiful for followers of Christ, but wouldn’t any day or even everyday be a great time to consider giving up what God tells us to leave behind in life, repenting of sin is something we should be doing every day not just for the 40 days of Lent. One doesn’t have to wait for a specific time of the year to remember and celebrate Christ’s saving work through His death and resurrection? Every time Bible believing Christians come together to break bread we remember and proclaim the Lord’s death, resurrection til He comes back. Paul challenged the church at Colossae to, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other . . . . And above all these put on love” Colossians 3:12-14.
He also told the church to get rid of certain parts of their lives. “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth” (Colossians 3:8).
I have three suggestions for you: firstly, read Colossians 3:1-17 each day; secondly, pick one area to ‘put away’; thirdly, repent of that sin and pray for God’s strength to help you work through it.
Spend these days honouring God by doing those things which will please Him and observe what is taught in the Bible and not rely on traditions of men.